The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has said that despite the United Nation’s benchmark of 26 percent budgetary allocations to education, Nigeria is yet to meet up with the bench mark.
Speaking while declaring open the 63rd stakeholders meeting of the National Council on Education in Abuja on Wednesday, Adamu said that Nigeria had in the 2017 budget committed an average of 6percent to education which according to him represented a far cry from the stipulated benchmark.
The minister said that emerging challenges in the country, especially those posed by insecurity, poor teacher-student output, including ever increasing out-of- school population, carrying capacity of public institutions have thrown up greater need for funding.
According to him, stakeholders cannot continue to live under the illusion that government was ever capable and totally responsible to man the sector effectively.
He warned that with a staggering population of about 170million, out of which 45 percent are below 15 years, the burden on education has become overwhelming on the three tiers of government as resources are spread more thinly translating into creating challenges in ensuring quality education.
” The bane of of our educational growth and development at all levels is premised on funding and it is believed to be an exclusive preserve of the three tiers of government. This impression however, is an erroneous one hence, the call for a collaborative effort of all stakeholders, cooperate and private organisations.
“It is not rare to see cases where there are 100 pupils for one teacher as against UNESCO benchmark of 35 students per teacher, or where students learn under trees for lack of classrooms as it is the case in North Eastern Nigeria where the scourge of insurgency has deprived many children access to education”.
“With a population of over 170million, 45%of which are below 15years (UNICEF 2017), the burden of education has become overwhelming on the three tiers of government and resources are spread more thinly translating into creating challenges in ensuring quality education” he stated.
Adamu explained that if the fortunes of education must transform for the better, stakeholders must begin to work and align policies that would see to the expansion of access to all levels of education, curtailing the out of school syndrome, expose ways of better security and safety of educational institutions, boosting technical and vocational education and training, restoring the quality of Nigerian teachers among other interventions.
Earlier, Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah tasked participants to disabuse their minds from seeing the summit as a regular talk shop, rather they must explore ways of assisting the government which appears overwhelmed by the challenges on ground.
The meeting which comes under the auspices of 63rd National Council on Education is being hosted by the Federal Ministry of Education in conjunction with relevant partners in the sector.
The 2018 edition has as its theme: “Funding of Education for the Achievement of Education 2030 Agenda”.